Books

Recommended Resources

Our elders were asked to provide a list of 10 helpful resources.  The following is that compiled list.  This is not a total endorsement of all content found in these resources.  Yet these are resources at least one of our elders has read, used, and found extremely helpful as we seek to know God, His Word, His Son, and be led in functional ways by His Spirit – and as we seek to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to our culture and the nations.  We hope these resources will enable you to know and bring great glory to our Amazing God!

 “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, 
in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”       (Romans 8:29 ESV)

Praying with Paul, a call to spiritual reformation, Carson (Baker).  Praying – to God (don’t assume the “to God”); and being instructed by God’s Word through Paul in “how to, and what to pray” – are the themes of this book.  “Writing almost two centuries ago, Robert Murray M’Cheyne declared, ‘what a man is alone and on his knees before God, that he is, and no more.’  But we have ignored this truism . . . we have forgotten how to pray.”

A Vision for Missions, Wells (Banner).  God is worthy to be known and proclaimed for Who He is; those who know Him best, are best equipped to tell the nations of Him.  This book will help our worship and mission.  One of my favorite “missions” books.

God is the Gospel, Piper (Crossway).  A must read as we seek to understand, and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ – John 17:3.

When Sinners say, “I do”, Harvey (Shepherd Press).  One of my most frequent recommendations for marriages – newly marrieds or those married as long as Colleen and myself!  She’s THE BEST WIFE EVER!  Thank you Lord! (Proverbs 19:14b).  Rightly Gospel centered in its approach.  Start with chapter four.

Is Jesus in the Old Testament?, Duguid (P&R).  Duguid is one of my recently discovered (after 2013) and favorite commentators.  See also his commentary on Daniel.  This is a small 45 page book including the notes and Bibliography – please read these for other good books.  Helps us know how, and how not to - read the Old Testament.

From Heaven He Came and Sought Her, David & Jonathan Gibson, editors (Crossway)  Definite atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral perspective.  21 contributors, including John Piper, Sinclair Ferguson, Donald Macleod, Alec Motyer.  Understanding “all” in Romans to many times mean, “without distinction” (Jews, Gentiles) rather than “without exception” (universalism) – is worth the book (see chapter 14, Schreiner).

It was good – making art to the glory of God, Ned Bustard, editor (Square Halo Books).  An excellent collection of 21 contributors that discuss “doing art” as a follower of Jesus Christ.  Some of my favorite contributions:  Glory (by Tim Keller); community, collaboration, creativity – probably my favorite.  This book is for both the artist and those wanting to engage the broader culture with a God centered; gospel centered life.

Stand (a call for endurance of the saints), Taylor / Piper, editors (Crossway).  Jerry Bridges, John Piper, John MacArthur, Randy Alcorn, and Helen Roseveare are all contributors in this study.  Don’t skip the interviews at the end, they are some of my favorite parts (listen to them online if you can).  The church has for far too long based its hope in a false assurance – the trust in a mere profession of faith.  Faith in Faith.  This book does not encourage us to trade one false assurance for another – ie. now we hope in our endurance.  Rather, endurance / faith that God produces in us through His Son – provides assurance that He has saved us, is saving us, will save us.  Stand will awaken and solidify Christ-exalting - Christ enabled endurance within you.

The Attributes of God, Pink (Baker)  My advisor at Cedarville gave me my original copy for graduation.  Thank you Jean Fisher!  I still use it!  Concise meditations on God’s attributes.  I go here again and again to think on Who God is, and seek to know Him further, in His fullness. 

The Peacemaker, Sande (Baker).  I remember when a fellow pastor recommended this book.  He had just taken his entire staff (large church) through a weekend seminar of its contents.  I read it, and quickly understood why he called it one of the most important books for the church that he had read.  God is a God of reconciliation. We are called to image Him in all of life.  This book will help you resolve inevitable conflict – in a Bible guided, God centered way - in any arena of relationship.

Connected: Living in the Light of the Trinity, Allberry (P&R). Too many Christians too quickly dismiss the doctrine of the Trinity because of its difficulty. “It’s a mystery. We can’t really understand it.” So they don’t even try. This book is a welcomed challenge to such thinking. After explaining the teaching from the Bible, Allberry demonstrates the impact of this reality on humanity, gender, church, prayer, and worship.

Heaven: A World of Love, Edwards (Banner of Truth). This is actually a sermon Jonathan Edwards preached. It is, therefore, a great way to be introduced to Edwards. His meditations nourished my soul, stirred my thoughts, and rejoiced my heart.

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness: The Path to True Christian Joy, Keller (10 Publishing). Here’s another single sermon in print. In my experience, if Keller writes it, I probably need to read it. That may be to say, if he preached it, I probably need to hear it. This sermon, as the title suggests, is truly liberating. So good!

Reverberation: How God’s Word brings light, freedom, and Action to His People, Leeman (Moody). I had to include at least one 9 Marks book on my list. So much of their material is helpful. I especially love this book, as it shows the unity and mutuality of the church as it ministers the Word of God. This ministry is received and repeated, sought and shared, by all of God’s people. This book shows what that looks like.

The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, Marshall (Reformation Heritage). There are parts of this book I mentally reference almost every week. It is a wonderfully helpful resource for the understanding of sanctification and how it relates to other aspects of salvation, as well as to provide us with, and provoke us to, practical application for everyday living.

The Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-Shift that Changes Everything, Marshall and Payne (Matthias Media). I’m thankful that this book provides a helpful and memorable illustration for ministry. Trellises are programs of the church designed to support the real life and work (vine) of the church: disciple-making. I consider it a good thing that folks at our local church are familiar with the word picture, and use it frequently in conversations. Building a disciple-making culture will include our vocabulary. Here is a book that helps it stick.

A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World, Miller (NavPress). In my opinion, this is a contemporary classic on the subject. Miller speaks openly and honestly about trials in his life and family that have taught him about, and grown him in, prayer. Sometimes “practical” can mean “shallow.” This book demolishes that false association.

Is All Scripture Inspired?Ryle (Banner of Truth).I had to include at least one of Ryle’s books so I could say that I would read anything and everything he wrote. This book in particular is a defense of a profoundly important truth. It is simple without being simplistic, readable in its style and deep in its content.

A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You, Tripp (New Growth Press). Tripp is another author who benefits me every time I read him. This is not one of his newer books (which are also blessings), but one with the most significant for my thinking and living. He proves to be a physician for the soul, so that we not only understand ourselves better (so that we can change and grow), but we also understand others better (so we can minister intelligently and effectively).

Setting Our Sights on Heaven: Why It’s Hard and Why It’s Worth It, Wolfe (Banner of Truth). Maybe the best recommendation I can give you for this book is that after pulling it out to put it on this list, I really want to read it again. Alcorn may have the definitive contemporary book on Heaven (and it really is good, too), but I found this book even more helpful. Theological and practical at the same time.

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